Making History Blog

Many of these articles have been published in the Mendocino Beacon’s Kelley House Calendar.

Why Assemble Logs Into a Raft?

Why Assemble Logs Into a Raft?
This column is a further exploration into the history of log rafts on the Mendocino Coast and the topic will continue for the next few weeks. When a historian finds all kinds of interesting historical facts while researching, and it just won’t fit in one story, the topic becomes a series. Steam ship towing a log raft out of Noyo Harbor near Fort Bragg. (Virginia Lycan Estate, courtesy John Paschall, Sr., Kelley House Museum archives) So why assemble a raft of logs[... see full page]

Tugboats and Log Rafts

Tugboats and Log Rafts
One of the dilemmas I get into as a historian is that I start out with an idea for a Kelley House column… “I’m going to write about tugboats and log rafts…” then when researching I get side-tracked and diverted by other interesting facts. Pretty soon I’ve got more than enough research for three or four columns, all relevant to my original search. So, if readers notice a repetitive theme over the next few weeks it’s because this writer found[... see full page]

Ukiah's Senator Sanford and Women's Suffrage

Ukiah's Senator Sanford and Women's Suffrage
While a very few nice positive things could be said about state representative John B. Sanford of Ukiah 110 years ago… “He was a good businessman, a man of faith, he served his community as a teacher and principal”… the man had a colossal fault in his character. Sanford would turn livid at the suggestion that woman should get to vote. A 1914 anti-suffrage cartoon by Udo J. Keppler, "All together now! Stop her!.” Published in Puck Magazine by Puck Publishing[... see full page]

Onward the Broom Brigade

Onward the Broom Brigade
What in the world are the women in this photograph doing? Young women practicing their broom maneuvers. Pictured (not in order): Harriet “Hattie” Powell (Peggy Quaid’s great grandmother), Grace Monroe, Minnie Gates, Maggie Arthur, Marnie Conway, Mary Bowlin, Miss Reed, Sutie Howins, Anna Westover, Lily Kimball, Miss Sawyer, Estell Taylor, Rose Purcell. (Photo courtesy of Peggy Quaid, Kelley House Museum) This is one of four curious pictures presented to the Kelley House Museum by our good friend, Peggy Quaid. They preserve for[... see full page]

Doghole Schooners and Mr. Turner

Doghole Schooners and Mr. Turner
What’s a doghole schooner? The standard joke about Mendocino County’s 30 shipping ports 120 years ago was that they were so small and tight a dog getting ready to settle down would have a hard time turning around to settle down. The ships were small with two masts fore and aft and sails, though many were later converted to steam power. They existed to haul finished lumber from mills on the coast to bigger marketplaces and to deliver merchandise to[... see full page]

Courting Coastal Tourists

Courting Coastal Tourists
Katy Tahja’s article a couple of weeks ago about the Point Cabrillo Auto Court got me wondering about other auto courts and where people used to spend their nights when visiting the Mendocino coast.  The Lazy Eye Cottages, c. 1932-1950. Cars and people could lodge together in this early day auto court along Highway 1, south of Little River. Now called The Inn at Schoolhouse Creek. (Kelley House Museum photo postcard) Back in the late 1800s (and before), people would walk to[... see full page]